Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was once again asked to explain his earlier comment that he wouldn't want a Muslim in charge of the nation. He responded by suggesting that Islam has an intrinsic problem, referring to Shariah, the Quran, hadith and fatwas.
ABC News "This Week" guest host Martha Raddatz asked Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, if he still stands by his last week's comment: "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation."
Carson pointed out to her that she didn't take into account what he said just before making that comment.
"I said anybody, doesn't matter what their religious background, if they accept American values and principles and are willing to subjugate their religious beliefs to our Constitution, I have no problem with them," Carson told Raddatz.
"What we should be talking about is Islam, and the tenets of Islam, and where do they come from?" Carson said. "They come from Shariah. They come from the Quran. They come from, you know, the life works and examples of Muhammad [hadith]. They come from the fatwas, which is the writings of scholars."
Carson added: "You know, and if you go back and you look at — what I would like for somebody to show me is an improved Islamic text that opposes Shariah. Let me see — if you can show me that, I will begin to alter my thinking on this."
Carson went on to say, why should America take a chance "when you have something that is against the rights of women, against the rights of gays, subjugates other religions, and a host of things that are not compatible with our constitution."
Also on Sunday, CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked Carson to explain the same comment about a Muslim president.
"I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam," Carson said. "If they are not willing to reject Shariah and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran — if they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would."
When Tapper said, "You're assuming that Muslim Americans put their religion ahead of the country," Carson replied, "I'm assuming that if you accept all the tenets of Islam that you would have a very difficult time abiding under the Constitution of the United States."
Carson also said the controversy surrounding his comments has been overblown. "Is it possible that maybe the media thinks it's a bigger deal than the American people do?" he said. "Because American people, the majority of them, agree and they understand exactly what I am saying."
However, he added: "I've worked with Muslims. I've trained Muslims. I've operated on Muslims. There are a lot of Muslims who are very patriotic. Good Americans and they gladly admit, at least privately, that they don't accept shariah or the doctrines and they understand that Islam is a system of living and it includes the way that you relate to the government. And you cannot, unless you specifically, deny that portion of Islam be a Muslim in good standing. Now if that is the case, if you are not willing to reject that, then how in the world can you possibly be the president of the United States."